Locating a few miles southwest of central Hue, Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country pagoda built in Vietnam. The ancient site has a legend behind it: people living in this area used to see an old lady appearing on the hill where the pagoda now stands. She always said to the people that one day a great leader would build a pagoda at this site to bring prosperity to the country. The other day, when Lord Nguyen Hoang passed by this site and heard about the story, in 1601 he ordered the construction of the pagoda, which was named Chua Thien Mu, translated as Heavenly Lady Pagoda.
Overlooking the southwest bank of the Perfume River, Thien Mu Pagoda is situated on Ha Khe hill and has two sections. One is the seven-level Phuoc Duyen Tower, the most prominent single structure 200 years younger than the pagoda complex itself. The other is the main hall where Buddha is enshrined. Monks of the temple also live and practice Buddhism here.
You may reach the pagoda by a steep staircase from the river's edge. It's not wheelchair-friendly so please be careful. Comfortable shoes and bottle water are needed. Inside the Hue city there’re worth visiting as well: Forbidden Purple City, Imperial Citadel, Royal Tomb of King Minh Mang and Dong Ba Market.
If you prefer a one-stop Indochina tour including Thien Mu Pagoda with premium guided service, look at this tour.